Back-to-school time is just around the corner, and the scramble to buy school clothes and new pencils, backpacks and notebooks will begin. Optometrists remind busy parents not to neglect one of the most important learning tools: their children’s eyes.
Good vision and overall eye health are vital to learning. Cornerstone Optometry joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing the importance of healthy vision to academic success during Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month in August.
Because children are still growing, being vigilant about eye health is important. The earlier that problems are identified, the sooner they can be addressed. For children to maintain healthy eyes and vision throughout the school year, Cornerstone Optometry and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend the following four tips:
Get regular childhood eye exams – Children’s eyes change rapidly, making regular eye exams an important step in detecting and correcting eye problems early. For school-age children, a vision screening may be performed in school (ask your school district). If the screening detects a problem, bring your child to your optometrist for a more complete evaluation. At Cornerstone Optometry, we do not charge extra fees for children with a BC Care Card.
Know and share your family eye health history – Everyone should find out whether eye conditions or diseases run in their family. Parents should share that information with their optometrist when possible. Examples of common eye conditions include nearsightedness, crossed eye, known as strabismus, and lazy eye, known as amblyopia. If these are not treated in childhood, they can cause significant
vision loss in one eye.
Watch for signals of eye problems – Parents should be alert to symptoms that could indicate an eye or vision problem, such as complaints of eyestrain, headaches and squinting when reading or performing other common activities. Other symptoms to look for include a white or grayish-white coloring in the pupil, one eye that turns in or out, or eyes that do not track in sync together.
Wear protective eyewear when playing sports – Eye injuries while playing sports can cause serious damage, whether by getting smacked with an elbow during basketball or hit with a hockey stick. If your child plays racket sports, hockey, field hockey, baseball or basketball, consider having them wear goggles or other certified protective eyewear.